Given that running your business can be an all-consuming and absorbing task, it can often be difficult to take time-out. However, it is important that we occasionally put down our smart phone and take a break. Doing so can feel scary but the time away from the daily grind allows us to reflect on the business, think more strategically and it ultimately has a positive impact on both ourselves and the business.
Understanding how exhausted I was feeling earlier this year, I saw the perfect opportunity to embrace the ultimate time-out when a business associate, Gina Battye posted about the last remaining space on her wellness retreat in Portugal. Having discussed the retreat with Gina, it sounded exactly what I needed. Nothing too taxing, a relaxing break, chance to work on me and the challenges I and the business face and meet some new business people in the stunning sun-drenched setting of an eco-resort in south Portugal (pictured above).
The wellness retreat, which involved a ‘digital detox’ with a group of genuinely lovely people, was honestly one of the best things I have ever done. I returned feeling a much more positive, energised and motivated person who is ready to take on my business’s challenges. Ultimately the focus became more on me than my business and I am confident that starting with me will provide a positive impact on my team and MacComms. It was such a positive experience that I have signed up to a six-month programme with Gina to continue the great work we started, and I have even confirmed my place on the same retreat back in Portugal next April.
Going away for a retreat or holiday is a huge way of alleviating stress for me but it is important to take time-out during the working week to try and achieve that all-important work life balance too.
Our friends over at LightStart have set out to tackle this problem by introducing ‘Work Anytime’ and allowing their employees to choose the hours they work. Instead of working the classic 9-5, employees can choose when they work and fit it around their own schedule, allowing them to take time-out around their own responsibilities and activities.
At MacComms, we are also keen to offer more flexibility and understand that people work better at different times. Those who know me best know that I am not a morning person! I am far more productive on an evening which is when I like to write and use the quieter non-working hours periods to catch up on emails and clear through my email inbox whilst it isn’t constantly being filled. With the underlying ethos about creating a successful business based on treating people right, I ensure that it isn’t only one rule for me and another for my team and they have responsibility to dictate their own working hours too. We are busy and need to put a lot of time into promoting our clients, but I am confident that offering freedom results in a happy workforce who choose to go above and beyond because they are respected and appreciated.
Whilst recently taking time out myself to care for my sister, I have been very grateful of my team for keeping the business going and assuring me that I can now delegate responsibility to them. To reward my team for their dedication and hard work, I am taking them on a team spa day Friday 24th August. Not only will this be a chance to spend some quality time outside of work together, but it also allows them to de-stress and relax with the hope of setting the precedent that time-out is essential.
Whether you are a business owner or not, there is no doubt that working life brings unwanted stress and if we don’t take a break, it can lead to more severe mental health problems and breakdowns. That’s why we’re keen to support our client, Jodie Hill, who is fighting to improve mental health in the workplace by campaigning to make mental health first aid training compulsory in business. Jodie’s business Thrive Law provides HR and legal support to both business owners and employees to thrive in the workplace.